- The Property Law Bill 2023 is intended to replace the Property Law Act 1974. The Bill was introduced to Queensland Parliament on 23 February 2023. Its contents will effect some of the biggest changes in the Queensland property industry in almost 50 years when it ultimately commences.
What does it cover?
There are extensive changes – the Bill is some 226 pages long – but some of the most significant include:
- The Bill introduces a new seller disclosure regime (currently the buyer has to inform itself by undertaking searches) – it will require sellers to disclose information to buyers regarding property before the buyer signs the contract, including providing copies of certain searches, such as property title, planning and zoning, building work, infrastructure proposal, rates and water accounts, body corporate information, energy efficiency, and environmental issues.
- Buyers will better informed up front about the condition of a property.
- A buyer will hold new rights to terminate if a seller does not comply with these requirements. Currently, buyers undertake most of these searches and usually after a contract has been signed;
But Be Aware:-
The proposed disclosure statement does not include information about:
- Flooding history;
- Structural soundness of the building or pest infestation;
- Current or historical use of the property;
- Current or past building approvals for the property except, for the seller’s statement regarding building work by unlicensed persons;
- Limits imposed by planning laws on the use of the land;
- Services that are or may be connected to the property.
- Leases are also affected, with statutory requirements being introduced setting out how requests to assign (transfer) leases must be managed by landlords and the releasing tenants/guarantors from future liability after such assignments.
- Landlords have new obligations to act reasonably.
Who will it affect?
- Sellers – anyone who is selling property will have a new process to go through before they can sell. The current preparation of a contract can, in many instances, be completed with reference just to a title search. Additional searches will be required to satisfy the requirements of the disclosure regime.
- Real estate agents – it will require significant changes from how contracts are currently prepared.
- Landlords – landlords will need to familiarise themselves with the new requirements when dealing with lease assignments and new requirements when issuing notices to remedy breach.
- Buyers and Sellers under Put / or Call Options.
When will it become law?
When the Bill was introduced the REIQ raised a number of concerns with the Bill, stating, ““We recognise the benefits associated with a single statutory disclosure regime ensuring all buyers have access to appropriate information to make informed decisions when buying property in Queensland, but this must be balanced with relevant and clearly defined disclosure requirements,”
The Legal Affairs and Safety Committee of the Qld Parliament considered a range of public submissions and table a report 14 April 2023.
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